Heroes Road: Labour wants local streets renamed

By Tony Hudson

Local authorities should consider renaming streets in their area after soldiers killed in the line of duty, Labour is urging.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy and shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn have written to local councils calling for a lasting commemoration to fallen heroes.

"This is a way for local people to show their solidarity and sympathy. A lasting personal memorial would demonstrate the value we place on individuals who have served but been lost in the defence of our country", Murphy said.

"Those who have been lost will always be remembered and loved by their families. Street naming will be a chance for their names to live publicly and forever."

Under the proposal, bereaved families would be contacted by local authorities in order to get their consent and would be invited, along with friends and service charities, to an official opening ceremony of the chosen street.

The idea comes from Barking and Dagenham council, which has named two streets after fallen soldiers and has plans for a third.

"Barking and Dagenham council have found a visible and enduring way for their local community to honour the memory of residents that have fallen in the brave service of our nation", Benn said.

"Naming streets is one of the many ways that local authorities can support our service community and pay tribute to those that have made the greatest sacrifice."

The proposal is intended to go along with previous local authority measures in place to better serve returning veterans, including a programme to better help them back into work and the appointment of local 'veterans' champions' to help returning soldiers transition more smoothly into civilian life.